iTackle | The Something-Must-Happen Disorder

As my train passed through the stations of Jhansi and Lalitpur about a fortnight ago, I couldn’t suppress my smile. I had just spent a little less than two weeks last month travelling through Madhya Pradesh hopping through Gwalior, Bhopal and places near Indore. I had been excited about this trip because I was returning back to the state after 11 months – I had been to Orchha, Khajuraho and Chanderi last November and the memories were still fresh.

I was glad and grateful to be covering newer places every time I was stepping back out.

Train travel: Of intersections and criss-cross routes
This time though something was a little different. A thought crossed my mind when I was in Gwalior 

And it was one that stayed with me through the entire time I was travelling. Honestly speaking, that didn’t make for good company!

It got me thinking. I realised that when I travel, I like frequenting tourist-y places like forts, palaces, museums and an occasional place of worship. It constitutes a small part of my travel itinerary per se. It’s the part of me that likes revisiting her childhood textbooks by walking through monuments that have remained a mere one-dimensional image for over two decades. Someone should have seen me when I was at Dholavira in April 2014. Friends and family who saw me when I had returned only exclaimed, “Look at you! You’ve tanned ten shades!” And all one would hear me saying with glazed eyes was “Oh man! Dholavira…” It’s the stuff ingenuity is made of (or must I say was made of?) While I am never going to be a historian, I’m content being historically curious than historically clueless.

But outside of that travel to me is about experiences, people and learning new things. Especially solo travel.

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

So what happens when it seems as if almost very little or nothing meaningful transpires at any point along your journey? Particularly if you, like me, are not the kind to upload photo albums to Facebook declaring your latest travel conquest! And even more particularly if you (again like me) love sharing anecdotes (not so much the itinerary itself) from your journeys in a written form. What happens when there is no anecdote to share?
Sure, you’ve visited that one monument you really wanted to out of the endless must-sees the guidebooks were pointing you towards and you also found a nice peaceful homestay to dock yourself for those couple of days…
So what?
How does it distinguish this experience from some of your earlier ones?
As it turns out, it isn’t. Nothing in particular sprang right at you all through the time you were in those places.

Waiting for something to spring right at me

So when nothing eventful transpires on the outside, look inside right? Travel is, in ways more than one, therapeutic too after all. Isn’t that the reason why workaholics and the heart-broken (among others) are egged on by friends and sometimes family to take time off for a getaway? So that when they return, they are all rejuvenated? Mostly, yes.
Well, as it turns out not always is something life-changing waiting to happen – regardless of whether you are a workaholic, heartbroken or not. Sometimes nothing happens. Nothing that shakes your core and screams ‘wow’!

And that’s perfectly okay.
Yes, it is.

I have never travelled (and then consequently blogged) to evoke envy. I am not an Onida campaign. Never was. I don’t travel to write like a historian or to boast of places struck of the proverbial list but for the great affair to be on the move. I blog primarily out of my own selfish interest – it helps me relive the experience. I enjoy my ‘Ahs’ and ‘Wows’ from my own travelogues and wonder why the older ones seem richer in comparison to some of my more recent ones.

In spite of this, here I was being afflicted by the ‘something must happen’ disorder!

Was there a mental check-list I was trying to tick each time I visited a new place?

So what was this mental check-list I was trying to tick each time I visited a new place? And why did it seem to bother me if beyond enjoying the journey (it being a safe one at it) and the destination (for what it had to offer), I did not have anything else to share about it?

I think part of this wiring is because of our conditioning – i.e., you must do something to achieve something in return (for doing it). I have seldom (if ever) come across someone who did something just because they wanted to do it.
Of course, the ones who do what they do without eyeing expected returns are the happiest of the lot.

But I am learning that people and places do not always have to have a story waiting for you to retell. Or in other words, you don’t have to have something to brag about once you’re back.

I am going to have to ask, "Have you ever been afflicted by the Something-Must-Happen disorder too?

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